Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Scientist's discover tenth planet in our solar system

Image above: This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet, which is yet to be formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto. It is very cold and dark. The planet was discovered by the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2005. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Friday, July 29, 2005

Statue of Liberty

These things are all over the island.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

City mergers lead to new common name

City mergers lead to new common name -

Ishikawa City has a new name. So does Gushikawa, Yonashiro, Katsuren and Union City.

It’s now Uruma City, an event spurred by tight economic times and subsidies reductions from the central government in Tokyo as a part of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Trinity Reform Plan. There are a number of city mergers taking place across Okinawa because of the belt tightening. Already Miyako Island communities have realigned themselves.

Ishikawa residents are lamenting the loss of their city name, even though it has only been around 60 years. It was Misato Village until World War II, with a population of only 5,000. It was transformed into a refugee camp after the war, run by the military. People flocked to the village, swelling the numbers to 30,000."

Accident claims life of popular dolphin

Accident claims life of popular dolphin -

A freak collision between two dolphins at Okinawa’s Ocean Expo Park has left a young dolphin dead.

Churaumi Aquarium chief Hirokazu Miyahira says “everybody is now very sad” because Jun, a performing dolphin, had died. Jun, who had only three days before he died been given the name by his public following, crashed head-on into another larger dolphin in the Okichan Dolphin Theater. The young dolphin, a crowd favorite, was 1 meter 88 centimeters long, and weighed 80 kilograms.

He was no match for the 4 meter 40 cm fellow performing dolphin that swam into him. Jun, who was a happy dolphin when allowed to high jump, enjoyed swimming around the pool and gathering at the glass where visitors could look at him."

Okinawa City festival draws visitors from 12 countries

Okinawa City festival draws visitors from 12 countries -

The Kijimunaa Festival in Okinawa City is winding down, with the grand finale set for Saturday at Okinawa City Civil Hall, the city’s Entertainment Hall, and at Chuuon Area’s Banyan Tree space.

Sporting the theme “2005 World Children, Youth People’s Theater Festival”, the event is cosponsored by Okinawa City and Okinawa Times newspaper company. Theater participants have come from 12 countries, including China, Korea, Australia, Denmark, Africa, Sweden, Italy, England and Israel."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Gyokusendo Cave

With a total length of five kilometers,
Gyokusendo Cave is the longest of the many
caves in Okinawa, and Japan's
second longest. 850 meters of the cave are
open to the public and feature spectacular
stalactites and stalagmites.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Expo garden

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Typhoon Haitang

Several sources are reporting this typhoon to be heading toward Okinawa. All satellite imagery I have seen clearly indicates it is heading for Taiwan.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Another shot of Expo

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ie Shima sunset

U.S. Marines in Okinawa begin drills at new facility

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 12:34 JST
NAHA — U.S. Marines in Okinawa Prefecture began military exercises on Tuesday, including ones using live ammunition, at a new combat facility at the Marine Corps' Camp Hansen in central Okinawa, amid protests by local residents.

The prefectural government and residents have been strongly opposed to the drills as the facility in the town of Kin has no fence around it and is only 300 meters away from residential areas, while the nearby residents will be exposed to the danger of being hit by stray bullets. (Kyodo News)"

Sunday, July 10, 2005

2 anglers rescued off Okinawa

Monday, July 11, 2005 at 05:01 JST
NAHA, Japan — Two anglers who drifted for 14 hours in the sea off Okinawa's main island after their boat overturned were rescued Sunday as personnel aboard a U.S. military transport ship spotted them, Japan Coast Guard officials said.

A tugboat towing the break-bulk ship Cape Jacob rescued Hiroshi Asato, 40, and Seiichiro Onna, 26, both carpenters from the city of Uruma, Okinawa Prefecture, at around 9:50 a.m. after crew members aboard the U.S. vessel found them drifting just outside Kin Bay on the Pacific side of the island, they said. (Kyodo News)"

Friday, July 08, 2005

Expo park

Here's a shot of Expo park. I have several shots of Expo I will be putting up soon. These are from 1989. If anyone has any more recent photo's I would be glad to post them.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Okinawa grants compulsory land use by U.S. military bases

Japan Today - News - Okinawa grants compulsory land use by U.S. military bases - Japan's Leading International News Network:

Thursday, July 7, 2005 at 14:39 JST
NAHA — Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday granted a request filed by the state for compulsory use of land by 11 facilities of U.S. bases in Okinawa.

The Okinawa prefectural government's panel on the matter approved the request, which concerns a total of 315,000 square meters of land in the 11 facilities of Futemma Air Station and other U.S. bases in the southernmost Japanese prefecture, panel officials said. (Kyodo News)"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Okinawans, Japanese don’t see eye-to-eye on U.S. troop presence

Mainland Japanese have a stronger belief in the need for American troops stationed in the country than do their Okinawan brethren.

Two new polls conducted this month during the buildup to the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa found widely varying perceptions about reliance on foreign troops to help defend Japan.

A survey by the Mainichi Shimbun asked Japanese from across the nation, including Okinawa, if they thought Okinawa bases were important. Some 47% of the mainlanders said it was a necessity.
In a similar poll taken by the Ryukyu Shimpo here in Naha, Okinawans were asked the same question about bases being needed. Only 30% said they were essential. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. bases and troops in Japan are situated on Okinawa.

Both surveys asked about the bases themselves, 45% of the mainland Japanese said the bases are needed, while 70% of Okinawans said they are not.

A further question posed to those supporting bases in Okinawa showed half answered positively because they believe the military presence promotes the local economy. Another 40% cited security as a reason for keeping the troops on Okinawa.

Nationally, only 49% of the mainland people surveyed thought keeping troops here was a burden, while 70% of the Okinawans say they are shouldering an unfair burden in stationing of troops."

Japan Today - News - Civil court battle begins over secret Okinawa pact - Japan's Leading International News Network

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 at 16:41 JST
TOKYO — The first hearing was held at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday over a damages suit in which a former reporter at the Mainichi Shimbun claims his career was ruined after he was illegally indicted for reporting a secret agreement between Japan and the United States over the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japan.

Takichi Nishiyama, 73, is seeking 33 million yen in compensation and an apology from the state, arguing that his report that Japan had secretly shouldered $4 million in costs for Okinawa's reversion to Japanese rule from U.S. occupation was backed up by the release of U.S. government documents in 2000 and 2002. (Kyodo News)"

Friday, July 01, 2005

US Ambassador talks of reducing base burden on Okinawa

 The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Thomas Schieffer, has visited Okinawa for the first time since he presented his credentials in Tokyo in April 2005. He met journalists from the Ryukyu Shimpo and the other local newspaper on June 17 at the U.S. Consulate General in Urasoe City.
 Regarding consolidation and realignment of the U.S. Forces and reduction of the base burden on Okinawa, the ambassador expressed his understanding that Washington was willing to reduce the pressure to meet Okinawan expectations.
 'If we don't erase some of the footprints of the U.S. Forces, the problem will only become more serious in the future. Both Tokyo and Washington are producing creative ideas and they share many common objectives. I believe that we will achieve a satisfactory result,' said Schieffer.
 On the other hand, he also pointed out that main-taining a deterrent capability against terrorism is a further objective of the realignment exercise. He reiterated the need to strengthen the bilateral alliance through reinforced cooperation between the SDF and US Forces.
 As for the revision of SOFA, he implied that Washington will consider a review if Tokyo makes some proposals.
 However, he did not state clearly whether Washington would consider its own way of dealing with the revision issue.
 'The current version of SOFA has been operating for a long time. But changed circumstances come to the fore as time goes by. We are ready to listen to any constructive ideas,' said Schieffer."